Richie Martin drafted in first round by Oakland A’s

The Oakland Athletics selected Florida Gators shortstop Richie Martin with the 20th overall selection in the 2015 Rule 5 Amateur Draft on Monday night. Martin is the fourth Gator selected in the first round since Kevin O’Sullivan took over at Florida (Mike Zunino, Brian Johnson-2012, Jonathon Crawford-2013) and the 16th overall.

Martin was the youngest four-year eligible player in the draft, something MLB teams loved, and really helped himself out with a stellar junior season. Martin is hitting .292 heading into the College World Series and has started all 65 games at shortstop. He leads the team with 59 runs scored and has knocked home five dingers as well.

Martin greatly improved in the field this year. As a sophomore, Martin committed a team-high 21 errors. He cut that number down to just eight on the best defensive team in the country.

Martin is a semifinalist for the Brooks Wallace Award — given out to the nation’s best shortstop — and Martin has been a key player in the field for the Gators, who lead the nation with a .985 fielding percentage.

Martin struggled some as a sophomore but really broke out last summer in the Cape Cod League with the Bourne Braves. Martin ranked second in the league batting .364 (a Bourne Braves single season record), while leading the league in hits (59) and runs (36).

As a first round selection, Martin will likely come to a deal with Oakland and play his final games as a Gator in the upcoming College World Series.

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Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC